How many times have you been in a situation where you were weak, or down, or frustrated, or angry, or sad and, to add insult to injury, it seemed that something that you thought you were long “past” comes back to tempt you or try to further steer you off course… Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!!
The bible says that the Devil comes as a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour… and that he comes to steal, kill and destroy…That is his Modus Operandi!
I’m a bit of a discovery/history/science channel nut and I LOVE to watch documentaries… Thanks to those who have studied and documented the hunting habits of predators like the lion, I have some insight on this scripture.
Lions, do not target the strongest, fastest, most resilient prey… They will approach a pack of “prey” animals and they often will run right into the pack and target the small, or lame, or wounded, or tired, or the one separated from the rest of the pack. In those circumstances they pose the least resistance and least likelihood for injury to the predator… They’re smart hunters, they are skillful and they are VERY methodical! With that said, it places a different perspective on the previous scripture about how the devil targets us…
In my own life and in the lives of the hundreds that have come to me seeking pastoral advice over the years, I have seen this same M/O of attack manifested time and time again in people’s lives! They are going through a hard time, they are tired, they are weak, and then they are hit with an attack that they didn’t expect or didn’t see coming…and many times they fall!!! When times were good, it seemed like they were smooth sailing, as if nothing could touch them… Then they fall on some hard times and BOOM the sneak attack takes them to the ground!
Ever been there? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! We all have! EVEN JESUS!
Think about it! In Luke chapter 4, Jesus goes into the wilderness and fasts for 40 days…After praying and fasting for 40 days, spiritually, he was likely as close to God as he had ever been! BUT His body was weak, he was hungry, he was malnourished, and the devil comes against him tempting him and attacking him with issues that naturally would be difficult for ANYONE, in his shoes! He didn’t come against Jesus when He was with his disciples, and teaching, and seeing miracles, and physically strong… He hit him when he was alone, and hungry and weak… See the pattern here?
So how does this relate to us now? The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 That we Wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places…
We see that it was Satan who came to tempt Jesus… It was a “physical temptation” but it had SPIRITUAL ROOTS! The attack was NOT physical although it did appeal to the “flesh” side of Jesus! It WAS SPIRITUAL!!! And how he dealt with this attack is the key to this entire chapter!
I had a friend come to me recently needing advice… He told me that he has been doing GREAT for so long and then, out of the blue, when other issues started going down hill, he was hit with an attack that he “thought” was long behind him… He asked me, “What do I do? Do I need to pray more or read my bible more or what?”
All those things are well and good… Yeah, you can pray more… Yeah, you can read your bible more…(especially if those are areas you have been neglecting) BUT when the devil attacked Jesus, what did HE do? He used the WORD OF GOD to take authority over the temptation…
We are in a very interesting position because we are in covenant with God…The sacrifice of Christ purchased our freedom from sin and it’s bondages…We have been given authority over circumstances and situations that would have before had authority over us… We are NO LONGER bound by sin or subject to it’s control! The Devil and his attacks are subject to the authority that we have in our covenant with God… But ultimately, it is our choice if we choose to invoke our authority!
When I was a police officer I had an authority that was recognized by my community. The badge gave me permission to take control of adverse circumstances and dictate the actions thereafter… If I chose NOT to use that authority, it did not change the fact that it was at my disposal. I was “Commissioned” and given the right to invoke the powers of that authority at my discretion…Whether I used them or not…
In previous chapters I have written about “finding out what the Word of God says concerning your circumstances”. When Jesus was attacked with hunger, he replied, “Man does not live on bread alone…” When tempted with pride and dominion he replied, “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only”… When tempted with showing the devil “his power” he replied, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”… The bible says, that when the devil had tried to tempt Jesus and He did not give in… he left…This is the KEY to combating the Devil!
So, I ask again, “What does the Word of God say relating directly to YOUR circumstances?” Knowing that information is absolutely ESSENTIAL! If you don’t know, you NEED TO FIND OUT! Because when the Devil comes against you with temptation, it is the “Word of God” that is your weapon of defense! It’s why it is called “The Sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians chapter 6… It is the only piece in the “Armor of God” outlined in that chapter that is offensive AND defensive! It is what you are to use to defend yourself and wound your enemy!
The devil knows that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). He knows that it is SIN that can keep us from operating in the fullness of our destiny! He knows that sin kills and destroys and as we cited in the beginning of this chapter, we know that stealing from us, killing and destroying us is what Satan is out to do!
Recognizing this, it should be SO obvious to us that the temptation to submit to sinful desires is ABSOLUTELY an intentional attempt to derail us from our destiny and God’s intention for our progress! Just like he did with Jesus, the Devil is trying to keep us from stepping into what God has for us by tempting us with sin! The fact that it happens so many times when we are at our weakest is further confirmation of the Devils M/O! We have to recognize this for what it is! You ARE NOT fighting a flesh and blood enemy… These circumstances that you are warring against ARE NOT rooted in the physical and you cannot physically fight a spiritual battle! Jesus says in John 6:63 that his Word is Spirit and Life! It is THE WORD OF GOD that we use as our weapon to take authority over the spiritual attacks and temptations of the devil! WHAT DOES THE WORD SAY ABOUT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!!!?
So when you are struggling with temptations to worry or fret you find that John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you”… and when you are struggling with feelings of worthlessness, you find in the bible that Romans 3:22 says, “You are the righteousness of God in Christ”… and when you feel alone, you find that the bible says in Hebrews 13:5 that “God will never leave you or forsake you”… and when you are struggling with feelings of abandonment, you see that Psalms 68:5 says that “God is the father to the fatherless”… and when you are struggling with feelings of lust, or concerning your past, or concerning your future, or concerning anger, or concerning addiction, or concerning anxiety…etc we see in the Ps 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to cast our cares and anxieties on the Lord because He cares for us!
WHATEVER you are struggling with, there ARE biblical promises that you can stand upon to overcome!!! Combat the lies and deceptions with the TRUTH of God’s Word!!!
As I left my friend who was asking me “what do I do?” the other day… I offered him one final word of advice as I patted his shoulder and walked away… I said, “You’ve been given authority over it… but what you do with it is up to you…”
I’ve hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you…
If you can dig it, Say “WORD!!!”